PHARMACY

NACDS letter to House asks for implementation delay of tamper-proof prescriptions

BY Adam Kraemer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores issued a letter to the leadership of the House of Representatives asking for immediate action to delay the required use of tamper-resistant paper for all Medicaid prescriptions as part of the upcoming “continuing resolution” or any other legislation that Congress passes prior to October 1, 2007, the implementation date.

In addition to NACDS efforts to push back the implementation, House supporters issued a letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Subcommittee on Health urging Congressional action to push back the implementation date to ensure that physicians have ample time to prepare and incorporate the use of tamper-resistant prescription pads for their Medicaid patients. Reps. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio, Mike Ross, D-Ark., Marion Berry, D-Ark., and Tom Allen, D-Maine, signed the letter to committee chairman John Dingell, D-Mich. and subcommittee chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J. and committee ranking member Joe Barton, R-Texas, and subcommittee ranking member Nathan Deal, R-Ga.

“We thank Reps. Wilson, Ross, Berry and Allen for their support on behalf of community pharmacy to delay this rushed implementation date. Community pharmacies are the primary providers of prescriptions to Medicaid beneficiaries. While we support efforts to reduce fraud, we have concerns that it will be difficult for Medicaid beneficiaries to obtain prescription medications and will result in economic hardship for many community pharmacies,” said Steve Anderson, NACDS president and chief executive officer.

According to NACDS, implementation problems and issues range from whether a sufficient number of pads will be available to the tens of thousands of prescribers that write hundreds of millions of prescriptions for Medicaid beneficiaries each year, where and how prescribers will obtain the pads, the specific requirements for the pads, who will pay for the cost of the pads and the potential for delays for Medicaid recipients receiving prescription medications.

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House, Senate pass patent reform bills; industry opposes

BY Drew Buono

WASHINGTON The House of Representatives has passed the Patent Reform Act by a vote of 220-175.

Along with its Senate counterpart, S. 1145, industry leaders have viewed the bill as a means of making the pharmaceutical industry a “much more friendly place for infringers,” said Biotechnology Industry Organization president and chief executive officer Jim Greenwood.

The organization opposes the bill because, it “puts a risk a whole host of innovators,” said Greenwood.  The Bush administration has concerns over the bill regarding limiting court discretion over awards and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association also has concerns over the bill according to president and chief executive officer Kathleen Jaeger.

The administration on Monday had criticized a provision changing how damages are calculated in infringement suits, criticizing the limiting of courts in determining damages. “Making this change to a reasonably well-functioning patent legal system is unwarranted and risks reducing the rewards from innovation—a result that would undercut the other useful reforms in this bill,” it said in a statement.

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Novelos patents proprietary oxidized glutathione structure

BY Drew Buono

NEWTOWN, Mass. Novelos Therapuetics announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office had issued a patent number for a compound named NOV-002.

“This most recent addition to our IP portfolio further strengthens Novelos’ proprietary position in the oxidized glutathione field in general and, in particular, around the structure of NOV-002,” said Christopher Pazoles, Ph.D, vice president of research and development of Novelos. “It will also allow us to expand our pipeline to include additional compounds based on this structural motif.”

This is Novelos lead compound in Phase 3 trial for non-small cell lung cancer.  Novelos is a biopharmaceutical company focusing on the development of remedies for cancer and hepatitis.

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